Wendell Lew Dunn, 89, of Pocatello, Idaho passed away September 25, 2020 at home surrounded by his family. Wendell was born August 18, 1931 in his parents’ home in Tyhee, Idaho as the fifth son of Samuel A. and Ethel Hill Dunn.
His childhood was rich with the play of farm boys digging in the dirt and swimming in the irrigation canal with his beloved brother, Allen, and friends. He began working at 8 years old doing errands at McMinn Dairy. World War II began when he was 10, and soon he drove the truck gathering milk from farmers while sitting on a wooden milk box to reach the pedals and see out. By the time he graduated from Pocatello High School (always an Indian!), he was pasteurizing and bottling the milk and making buttermilk—his lifetime favorite beverage!
Wendell met the love of his life, Alice Henderson, through his eldest brother, Mel. Just after they graduated from High School and turned 18, they married for time and all eternity in the Salt Lake City temple in 1949. They began their college educations together at Idaho State, and Wendell took on an additional job as the doorman at the Chief Theater. They lived in his parents’ basement where they had their first child, RuthAnn (George Fisher). Just months later, Wendell left for a 32 month stint in Sweden where he served an LDS mission and developed a lifelong love for all things Swedish. Upon his return home, he finished his pharmacy degree. After graduation, his second child, Samuel Robert (Robin Wilks) was born. Just 12 days later they all moved to Reno, Nevada to begin his 51 year career as a pharmacist. Three days into the Reno stint, the company transferred him to the Tahoe City, California store where he worked for 16 months before moving to Scotia, California. There he purchased Palco Pharmacy. He loved his work because he loved his customers to whom he devoted his time 6 days a week and any time he was needed.
In Scotia, they were blessed with four more children: Merilyn (Gary Ross, deceased 1996, and David Fouche’), Barbara (Mark Nielsen), William Lewis (Jeanette Meibos), and Elisabeth (William Bennett) to their family. Their love extended to other children who came into their family and remain in their lives today.
Wendell and Alice provided devoted and loving care to their aged parents for a span of 33 years until their passing—Ethel in 1989 and Sam in 1992 and Alice’s parents, Bob in 1996 and Winnie in 2003. Wendell loved his siblings four of whom passed before him–Lowell Dunn (1929), Melvin Dunn (Mildred Carneal) 2014, Kenneth Dunn (LoRene Kesler) 2015, Allen Dunn (Delmer deceased 1966, Pat) 2015. He is survived by his precious little sister, Beth (Richard Curtis).
Wendell’s and Alice’s lives have been full with 30 grandchildren and 19 great grandchildren whom they adore and have deeply valued beginning with grandchildren Emily Fisher (Kim Isley), MaryAnne Fisher (Aaron Murphy), Alice Roberts (Kyle Roberts), Adam Robert Fisher (Natalie Pascal), Robert Andrew Wilks Dunn, Samuel Wyatt Wilkes Dunn, Andrew Timothy Fouche’ (Jessica Radebaugh) , Kathleen Wood (Dik Wood), Sarah Foster (Damieon Foster), Benjamin Daniel Fouche’, Jonathan Walter Ross, deceased 1996, Matthew David Fouche’, Andrew Jacob Ross (Katie Setzer), Nathan James Fouche’, Rachel Lynn Fouche’, Jonathan Mark Nielsen, Christopher Joel Nielsen, Rebekah Marie Nielsen, Hannah Elisabeth Chatterley (Tylor Chatterley), Jordan Lewis Dunn (Nickie Vang), Jenelise Lorinn Bernards (Daniel Bernards), Katelyn Kryshell Miller (Thomas Miller), Allison Joanell Dunn, Aubrey Miranda Bruton (Layne Bruton), Kellie Ann Dunn, Zachary William Bennett (Hannah Reinhart), Victoria Bennett (Nicholas Godsmark), Wynston Elisabeth Bennett, Lexington Reyne Feeley, (Robert Feeley), and Livingston Anne Bennett. Precious great grandchildren include Joshua, Jackson, Andrew, Liam, Collin, Owen, Jude, Sophia, Amelie, Eli, Olivia, Aubrielise, Trey, Kashton, Tydan, Oaklyn, Kiplin, Desmond, Moira, and Maleajah.
Special extra children to Wendell and Alice include Lynne Jones (Erick Jones deceased 2000) and her nine children Nathan, Emery, Michael, Richard, Tommy, Timothy, Taylor, Dallan, and Hansan and Kim Hinkson (Terry Hinkson) and their daughters, Kate, Rachel, Jessie, Hannah, and Emily Jane. There are so many others they loved and cared for deeply.
While he loved his family immensely, he so enjoyed the outdoors, especially fishing and hunting, and was the Reservist of the Year for the Idaho Fish and Game for four years. During that time he received the Love of Learning award for his work with the youth via the Ageless Heroes program. He was a Boy Scout Master twice, once when he was only 18 in Tyhee and again in his 70s in Fortuna. He was a man of faith and served with an eye to others’ growth as Bishop of the Fortuna, California Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints Ward from 1964 to 1970. He served three more missions with his bride in Pocatello serving the inner-city, the mission office, and as supervisors of church service missionaries. Wendell served on two High Councils while in California.
Wendell loved his friends and valued their relationships—especially Sunday family gatherings and group camping at Northern California’s Wages Creek to dive for abalone with Hoopes, Jutilas, Sproats, Lowes, Steeves, Lewises, and so many others. They enjoyed seeing the world through cruises to Alaska and the Western Caribbean, touring Sweden and Western Europe, a trip to Central Mexico with Pete and Faun Childers, and a family trip to Canada with the Jutilas. Their travels continued into Wendell’s last years as they were chauffeured through most of Central and Western USA by their son-in-law, Bill and family, in his coach.
Anyone who knew Wendell would know we should end this with a hearty laugh. We’ll leave it to you to remember your favorite joke and allow yourselves a hearty belly-jiggler on Wendell’s behalf. A graveside service will be held at the cemetery in Arimo, Idaho on Tuesday, September 29th at 11 am. In lieu of flowers, a contribution to Primary Children’s Hospital at 100 Mario Capecchi Dr, Salt Lake City, UT 84113 would be a remembrance he would deeply value.